Clodagh McKenna’s raspberry and rosewater pavlova

This is one of my all-time-favourite summer desserts. It’s so decadent — and looks absolutely fabulous, too. 

I make it throughout the summer, sometimes swapping the raspberries for other soft fruits like peaches, strawberries and blueberries. All of them work beautifully.

Rose water has long been one of my favourite flavours; its gentle floral taste works perfectly with the light and fluffy pavlova. I make the pavlova the evening before and leave it to cool overnight in the oven — switched off, of course. 

A jug of raspberry syrup to pour over each slice of pavlova is a nice addition, too, and it helps that the syrup is so simple to make. Simply place 100g raspberries, two tablespoons of water and two tablespoons of caster sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, and cook for a further two to three minutes until the raspberries have turned to mush. Then, take it off the heat and pass through a sieve using the back the spoon, and you should have a thick, syrup-like consistency. Set it aside and allow to cool — then it’s time to get stuck in.

Raspberry and rosewater pavlova 

Makes: 1 Pavlova

Prep time: 25 minutes 

Cooking time: 90 minutes

Serve with: Sancerre Rouge Les Champs Clos Pinot Noir, £11.50 from Sainsbury’s 


For the pavlova

  • 9 egg whites 
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rose water
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For the filling:

  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water 
  • 200g fresh raspberries


1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl, until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and glossy and the sugar completely dissolves. Add the cornstarch, vinegar and rose water and gently fold until just combined. 

3. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking tray in a circle shape and use the back of a wooden spoon to shape the meringue into a nest. Place the meringue in the pre-heated oven , turn the heat down to 140°C/Gas Mark 1 and bake for 90 minutes. Once the meringue is baked, turn off the heat, open the oven door and allow it to cool completely. 

4. When the meringue is cooled and ready to serve, start assembling the filling. Don’t add the cream too far in advance as it will soak into the meringue. Gently whip the cream until it thickens and then whisk in icing sugar. Fold in the rose water, spoon the filling into the centre of the meringue, and add the fresh raspberries on top.

Follow Clodagh on Instagram @clodagh_mckenna


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